Days of Being Wild, 1990, Wong Kar Wai
‘Blue is a sense of regret – of a chance encounter and missed opportunity that forms a closed, perpetual cycle of incompletion, loss, and want. It traces the shape of an imperfect circle – a hollow vessel, an oblate soul. It is a fragmented glimpse of infinite possibility from the omniscient windows of an unoccupied telephone booth: a failed attempt at connection, stifled by inaction. Like a spiritual bremsstrahlung, their souls have passed through the influence of a greater life force, and have now lost their energy. Now weak and unnecessary, there is only the shell of existence, the fading memory. It is a truncated portrait of a drifter – a tale of hopelessness and despair – of the figurative blues. It is an inertia that will not yield against the potential of true love, but instead, contaminates like a virus, and each hopeless, unrequited lover inevitably succumbs to a lethargy of the will. It is an ache of passivity that hovers innocuously through the impersonal city, and only the restless who venture into the empty evening streets find themselves incurably infected, inducted into some reluctant, nocturnal fraternity, eternally condemned to perform this somnambulistic, melancholic waltz of the wounded heart.’
- Acquarello, NASA Design Engineer of the Strictly Film School Website
During the final scene of this film, the camera pans out of the motorway tunnel and shoots upwards towards the Hong Kong skyscrapers at dawn. It is the first time we see daylight in the entire film, which takes the viewer through the Chungking Mansion apartments and neon lit streets. The significance of this shot holds a great deal of meaning to my own thought, as aside from it’s aesthetic beauty it holds meaning in relation to the breaking of day, to possibility and the deadening of the night, as though all that one does at night is dream.
The dawn light looks like a crack in the pavement, a slither, a glimmer of light, which is how i’ve recently been describing the flashes of Truth in imagery that begins as a very tiny realisation and works like a catalyst for an entire passage that delivers a stream of vivid and sometimes unrelated imagery.
Henry Miller described his cadenzas passages as a surrealistic use of diving into the subconcious, of following the heart and minds instincts as they come in rapid fire motion, the use of dreams as a fecund of experience to apply to his passages.
‘Into the night life’
Which is where Wong Kar Wai takes his audience, into a dream-like state of consciousness of motion and stylistic colour. It is connected not just to the idea of dreams but to solitude and the yearning of the human heart within the night, where the creative mind really germinates the seeds for the art that follows from it, from digging into the subconscious.